updated 6/29/2007 9:17:09 AM ET 2007-06-29T13:17:09

Commerce Bancorp Inc. said Friday Vernon W. Hill II will step down as chairman, president and chief executive, effective July 31, and said it signed a consent order with regulators regarding an investigation into insider business transactions.

Commerce said earlier this month in a regulatory filing it will end contracts with companies owned by executives, including Hill, and their relatives by the end of the year. The practice had drawn the attention of regulators.

The parent of Commerce Bank promoted three executives to the new "Office of Chairman" to replace Hill, who is leaving as chairman and CEO of Commerce Bank NA effective today. Dennis DiFlorio will serve as chairman of Commerce Bank NA, Robert Falese as president and CEO and Douglas Pauls as chief financial officer.

The company signed a consent order with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as well as a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Under the terms of the consent order, the company said its new management will make governance changes and work more closely with regulators.

On Friday, Commerce Bancorp said it will continue to cooperate with any regulatory investigation of insider and insider-related transactions.

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